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Thread: Treadle tubing belt revisited

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Treadle tubing belt revisited

    I read about using aquarium tubing for treadle belts here some months ago and tried it. The tubing belt was to be wrapped around the wheels taking all the slack out, but not stretching it and cut where the end was. Then shortened by an inch or so and the cut off piece used for the coupler. To do that the short piece was slit length wise, then rolled tight and pushed into the two ends of the belt.
    Here is what that looks like with my 9W-7 in the treadle:


    Unfortunately that didn't work as good as I thought it should. After using the belt the coupler would slip out of the ends and the belt would loose it's tension and start slipping.

    So I had an idea. Make a barbed coupler out of some of the acetel rod my wife bought for her crafts. I took a length of 3/16" rod and cut off a 1" piece. Then put it in my drill motor chamfered the ends and cut groves in it for barbs.
    Here is a pic of the old slit tubing couple, the acetel rod and the new coupler in the tubing belt:


    And here's a close up of the new barbed coupler in the tubing:


    And here is the Singer 127 I'm using the tubing belt on right now:

    I've mentioned this one before. It's the one in my thread: I never thought it would sew again.

    The new barbed coupler has held for several days and almost an entire Whacky bag of sewing. I do believe it's a much better way to keep the belt together.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    I had trouble when I tried to use the tubing as the coupler. I wasn't smart enough to slice it and roll it so that it would fit. I struggled and struggled trying to insert it even after cutting the coupler's ends into 'V' shapes. I ended up using the wire from a large paperclip and made a staple similar to the ones on a leather belt. I used wire cutters to make it the correct length and used needle nose pliers to shape it. Then, poked a hole in each end of the tubing so that the staple could be attached. Joe, I like your idea and I would rather I didn't have that metal staple touching my machines.

  3. #3
    Super Member Crossstitcher's Avatar
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    Joe you can also use a piece of old sewing machine belt as a coupler. Use dental floss to sew the ends together. No metal rubbing metal.
    Quilting with a friend keeps me in stitches.

    Trish

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Well, I probably could have used the old belt. But I don't sew things together too good by hand. And since I have access to a bunch of the rods, it made a perfect coupler.

    I suppose there's lots of ways to do it. This is one

    I suppose you could also use the tubing to hold a too short leather belt together if you wanted. I might try that.

    Joe

  5. #5
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    Great idea! The coupler you designed is similar to the one on the rubber belt I got from Lehmans.

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Patty,

    I actually got the idea from the barbed couplers the automotive industry uses on vacuum tubing. I've got a link to the belt on the Lehmans site, but the pic doesn't give a good view of the coupler.

    I'm gonna make a few more and put them with the remainder of the tubing for when I might need another belt.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    You can buy pre-made couplers in the plumbing section at Lowe's. You can also use red weed whacker line from Tractor supply if your hose is 1/4 inch. Cut it to fit of course

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Sounds like there's lots of ways to do this. I used the acetel rod cos I have a bunch handy.

    Joe

  9. #9
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    In your opinion, does the machine work the same with the tubing as it did with the leather belt? Is it harder to treadle?

  10. #10
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    I read about using aquarium tubing for treadle belts here some months ago and tried it. The tubing belt was to be wrapped around the wheels taking all the slack out, but not stretching it and cut where the end was. Then shortened by an inch or so and the cut off piece used for the coupler. To do that the short piece was slit length wise, then rolled tight and pushed into the two ends of the belt.
    Here is what that looks like with my 9W-7 in the treadle:


    Unfortunately that didn't work as good as I thought it should. After using the belt the coupler would slip out of the ends and the belt would loose it's tension and start slipping.

    So I had an idea. Make a barbed coupler out of some of the acetel rod my wife bought for her crafts. I took a length of 3/16" rod and cut off a 1" piece. Then put it in my drill motor chamfered the ends and cut groves in it for barbs.
    Here is a pic of the old slit tubing couple, the acetel rod and the new coupler in the tubing belt:


    And here's a close up of the new barbed coupler in the tubing:


    And here is the Singer 127 I'm using the tubing belt on right now:

    I've mentioned this one before. It's the one in my thread: I never thought it would sew again.

    The new barbed coupler has held for several days and almost an entire Whacky bag of sewing. I do believe it's a much better way to keep the belt together.

    Joe
    Hi Joe: the last pic you show is just like my 127. Yours is so beautiful! The decals on mine are very worn but love it anyway. Just had to tell you how much I like your machine!
    JoAnn

  11. #11
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patty55 View Post
    In your opinion, does the machine work the same with the tubing as it did with the leather belt? Is it harder to treadle?
    Patty,
    I don't find it harder to treadle at all. As far as working the same, the tubing belt does just fine.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltjoey View Post
    Hi Joe: the last pic you show is just like my 127. Yours is so beautiful! The decals on mine are very worn but love it anyway. Just had to tell you how much I like your machine!
    JoAnn
    JoAnn,

    If you saw that machine in person you wouldn't think it was so beautiful. My camera has the tendency to pick up any of the decals that's left and making them shine. Seriously that machine just doesn't look that good in person.
    I've finally got the tensions to cooperate. And it sews nicely. So a bit more cleaning and then I do believe I'll try Skips method of cleaning and fixing the shellack on the machine.

    Joe

  13. #13
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    I've just given a treadle to my Mum and it needs a belt so I will try out some aquarium tubing.

    Clare

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    My machine is finally all put back together And I put the rubber belt on. What's the right tension on the belt? How much play should it have? And what's the correct position for the guides on either side of the big wheel? I know I have the pattern right but when I treadle the machine the handwheel turns fine but the belt doesn't stay on for long. I'm always having to put it back on. And BTW, it ended up taking two of those belts from Lehman's. One was about 6 inches short. The bobbin winder seems to be too close to the belt. I don't have a tire on it yet but it almost touches. Is there an adjustment for that somewhere?

    So far, I've had no luck getting the needle to pick up the bobbin thread so I'm going to watch those videos again on utube.

    Sorry for so many questions!

  15. #15
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Patty,

    For tubing treadle belts feed the tubing through all the holes around the hand wheel, through both the rear and front belt guide if equipped and around the big wheel. Then pull the end next to the longer part. Pull it enough to take the slack out of it, but not stretch it, then cut it where the short end lays beside the long part.
    After it's cut, cut off one more inch. If your going to use the tubing itself for a coupler use that one inch piece you cut off.

    There should be two guides in directly in front of the big wheel, and one behind. They line up so that the belt is centered inside the guide.
    The front guide is the belt derailer as well. When you rotate it clockwise as you turn the big wheel it will cause the belt to come out of the wheel. Otherwise the belt should be centered in it..

    I don't remember what model machine you have but some of them do not use bobbin winder tires. When winding the bobbins you just rotate the winder until the grove in the drive wheel contacts the belt.

    Hope this helps some.

    Joe

  16. #16
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    As for the needle picking up the bobbin thread, all the normal suggestions apply.
    Make sure the needle is in correctly and is the correct needle.
    Make sure it's threaded correctly.
    Make sure the bobbins installed and threaded correctly.
    Make sure you hold your mouth right.

    Joe

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=J Miller;5758371]As for the needle picking up the bobbin thread, all the normal suggestions apply.
    Make sure the needle is in correctly and is the correct needle.
    Make sure it's threaded correctly.
    Make sure the bobbins installed and threaded correctly.
    Make sure you hold your mouth right.

    The only thing I'm sure about is holding my mouth right!!!!

  18. #18
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    You've probably said before, but I don't remember, what brand / model machine is your treadle?

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    You've probably said before, but I don't remember, what brand / model machine is your treadle?

    Joe
    1906 Singer 66 Lotus Decals. Here's my latest question, can I replace the tensioner with one from a later model 66 that has a dial? I believe the spring is toast in the old one. It LOOKS like it would screw on the same.

  20. #20
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    It just occurred to me I now have two metal connectors on those belts I bought from Lehman's. I should be able to salvage those connectors(when the belt fails) and reuse them with aquarium tubing too. Looks like the connectors are aluminum.

  21. #21
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Patty,

    Singer 66 - all versions:

    >Needles are 15x1
    >Needle goes in flat to the right.
    >Thread goes from left to right.
    >Bobbin is Class 66
    >When installing bobbin it rotates counter clockwise when you pull the thread.

    If all these are right, and it won't pick up the bobbin, then the stars must be out of alinement. Or there is some other problem.

    Yes you can replace the top tension with the later one. The machine casting wasn't changed in that area.
    Or, you can get a new beehive spring at Sew-Classic.

    And if you have the little metal connectors, I'd use a piece of the tubing slipped inside the tubing belt as a reinforcement so it doesn't tear out.

    Joe

  22. #22
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    Thanks Joe! The beehive spring is in fine shape. It's the other one that's dicey. I read all the information you wrote and watched some videos on utube. I will try again!

  23. #23
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Oh, the thread check spring. Sew-Classic has those too.

    Joe

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